HELENA — The renovations to the playground at Memorial Park are nearly completed or should be, as long as the weather cooperates.
“Yeah, so, all of our playgrounds, we have about a 20-year lifespan. We try to replace them on that 20 years. It seems to be about the right amount of time where there need upgrades and there’s new, more fun equipment for the kids to play on,” says Parks Maintenance Supervisor for the City of Helena, Patrick Marron.
The City of Helena’s Parks and Recreation Department began work to renovate Memorial Park’s playground during late summer. Since then, they’ve gotten rid of a part of the old playground and replaced it with new equipment.
The Parks Department did decide to keep a part of the old structure and will give updates and replacements to anything that may be compromised or old.
“Folks in the community had a hand in building it. And we understand that that was important to them. And we want to respect that. And it’s been 20 years since that installation, so it’s kind of the 20-year anniversary, you know, and now we’re doing some upgrades,” says Marron.
Marron says that as long as this mild weather holds, the playground can be done in as little as 2 weeks once they get some needed parts in. But if the weather turns, they may need to wait until the springtime to finish. Until then, a section of the playground remains open, but Marron asks the public to respect signs and fencing that discourage usage of certain areas.
Additionally, they hope to have the ice rink open by December 23, possibly on Dec. 20. The department needs cold winter temperatures, ideally between 15 and 20 degrees, in order to freeze about 6-12 inches of water-soaked earth to build about 6-8 inches of ice on top to create Helena’s ice rink.